LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 28, 2009) - Five members of the ETSU track and field team will be put to the test as they look to earn a spot to next month's NCAA Championships starting Friday afternoon when the Buccaneers gear up for the 2009 Mideast Regional, located at Louisville's Cardinal Park.
The Bucs will be represented by senior distance runner Heidi Dahl (Orem, Utah) and sprinters Duronal Monal (Belle Glade, Fla.), Mike James (Palm Bay, Fla.), Nae-Nae Bailey (Statesville, N.C.) and Judy Johnson (Knoxville, Tenn.).
Dahl, the Atlantic Sun Conference champion and record holder in both the 800m and 1500m, will be the first Buccaneer runner to hit the track on Friday afternoon, as she competes in the 1500m at 2:00 p.m. The Orem, Utah native holds the second fastest time in the region after running 4:18.08 at the conference championships on May 16. Dahl - who represented the Bucs at the 2009 Indoor NCAA Championships - also made the NCAA Championships in the 1500m (2007) and 800m (2006) while competing at BYU. Should Dahl advance to Saturday's final, she will have to be one of the top-12 runners in the 17-woman field.
Meanwhile, fellow senior sprinters Nae-Nae Bailey and Judy Johnson will make their second consecutive trip to the Mideast Regional. Both runners were a part of the 4x100-meter relay team that ran in Fayetteville, Ark. a year ago, and the pair of sprinters will be tested in the 100m and 200m on Friday. Bailey and Johnson will run the 100m at 3:20 p.m. and the 200m at 6 p.m. The top eight runners in both events will qualify for Saturday's final.
Johnson currently ranks 10th in the 200m after sprinting her way to a time of 23.78 (UNF Osprey Challenge). In addition, the Knoxville, Tenn. native posted a regional qualifying mark in the 100m by being clocked in at 11.68 at the Tennessee Invitational on May 9.
Bailey saved her best for last as she qualified in both events at the A-Sun Championships two weeks ago in Jacksonville. Bailey won the conference crown in the 200m (24.23) and qualified in the 100m after placing third with a time of 11.74.
On the men's side, both Monal and James will make their debut at the NCAA Regional.
Like the pair of Lady Buccaneer sprinters, Monal will also look to fly his way to the NCAA Championships in both the 100m and 200m. The Belle Glade, Fla. native took home the conference title in both short sprint events two weeks ago at UNF and became the first athlete to accomplish the feat since former Buccaneer standout James Rainer did so in 2006 and 2007. Monal carries the 12th fastest time in the 100m (10.46) and ranks 19th in the 200m (21.18). The junior sprinter will race the prelims of the 100m at 3:40 p.m. and the 200m at 6:20 p.m.
James, a sophomore hurdler, will compete in the prelims of the 110-meter hurdles at 3 p.m. on Friday. The Palm Bay, Fla. native finished second in the 110-meter hurdles at the A-Sun Championships after turning in a personal-best mark of 14.10 and also scored in the 400-meter hurdles and high jump.
Fans unable to make the trip to Louisville can access live results by visiting http://www.uoflsports.com/sports/m-track/spec-rel/lou-08-outdoor-trackandfield-regional.html or clicking the link above.
For more information on Buccaneer track and field, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.